Power Ultrasound for the Production of Cosmetics

Ultrasonic processing stands at the forefront of innovation in the dynamic realms of cosmetics and personal care development and manufacturing. Its versatile applications in the cosmetic industry encompass the creation of emulsions, dispersions, particle size reduction, liposome preparation, and the extraction of active compounds. This cutting-edge technology empowers both laboratory researchers and large-scale commercial production by providing advanced sonicators tailored to meet diverse needs. From the meticulous precision of laboratory investigations to the seamless efficiency of full-scale commercial capacities, ultrasonic processing emerges as a transformative force, enhancing the quality and efficacy of cosmetic formulations across the spectrum.

Ultrasonic Processing of Cosmetic and Personal Care Products

Skin care and decorative cosmetic products have to fulfill highest quality standards. A reliable processing technology is crucial in order to meet this objective. Power ultrasound a is reliable homogenization and extraction technique, which achieves unique results and allows to produce valuable, innovative products. To keep pace with cosmetic research and development, powerful and adaptable homogenizers are required. Hielscher Ultrasonics supplies you reliable ultrasonic equipment for each stage of processing – from the development of new formulations in the research lab to the final manufacturing of your commercialized product.
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Emulsions – Homogeneous and Stable Droplet Distribution with Sonication

Ultrasound is a proven technique to produce fine-size emulsions (W/O, O/W, O/W/O, W/O/W), such as mini-, nano- or micro-emulsions, double emulsions and phase inversion emulsions. During ultrasonic homogenization, intense cavitation forces shears the two or more immiscible phases into very small droplets. A high emulsion stability is achieved by both small droplet size and low polydispersity of the droplet size distribution. Emulsions are highly relevant for the production of creams, lotions, serums, oils, balms, gels & oleo gels and waxes.
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Dispersions and Suspensions – Particle Size Distribution by Sonication

Powders, pigments (e.g. TiO2, ZnO) and minerals are common ingredients in cosmetic products such as creams, sun screens, lipstick, and nail polish. To obtain an uniform product of high quality, the even dispersion and distribution of the powder, pigment or mineral particles must be ensured. As ultrasound provides reliable fine-size dispersions, it is the homogenization technique to go for.
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Milling and Fine-Grinding – Size Reduction using Ultrasound

Especially for decorative cosmetics, pigments have to be milled to micron and sub-micron size and must be dispersed uniformly in the product. When intense ultrasonic waves are coupled into liquids and viscous, pasty slurries, the ultrasonic cavitation results in high shear forces that can grind particles and pigments down to sub-micron and nano size. Especially for decorative cosmetics (e.g. mascara, nail polish, lipstick, make-up), the fine size distribution of pigments is an important mark of quality.
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Botanical Extraction – High Yields via Ultrasonics

Ultrasound is a very fast and efficient technique to improve the yield of active components extracted from plants, e.g. antioxidants, polysaccharides, terpenes, and phenolic compounds. As a non-thermal method, ultrasound extracts the compounds in a gentle way so that damages and degradation is avoided. Beside a higher yield of extracts, the advantage of ultrasonic extraction lie in the use of green extraction solvent (e.g. water) or use of less solvent, lower extraction temperature, and the considerably reduced extraction time. The ultrasonic extraction is a well-investigated technique and has been proven successful for many active compounds such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), α-tocopherol (vitamin E) and β-carotene (provitamin A), co-enzyme Q10, or ferulic acid.
Furthermore, the application of ultrasonic waves can improve traditional extraction methods such as Soxhlet extraction, supercritical CO2 extraction and enzymatic extraction (e.g. for collagen).
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Liposomes via Ultrasonic Encapsulation

Active compounds must be encapsulated to be carried into the deeper skin layer where they should unfold their full effects. Liposomes are a common carrier for active compounds and APIs. Sonication is a reliable tool to encapsulate substances in liposomes and to emulsify them into the final product. Click here to read more about the ultrasonically-assisted encapsulation of liposomes!


Ultrasound waves are very efficient to dissolve and homogenize two or more phase into an uniform product. Powerful ultrasonic shear forces help to dissolve powders, e.g. allantoin powder Homogenization is an important step to obtain an high-quality product with constant characteristics. Therefore, ultrasound is the preferred method when it comes to dissolving and homogenization applications.
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Ultrasonic emulsification is used to produce skin care products such as creams and lotions with a high load of active substances.

Ultrasonicator with glass flow cell for the inline mixing and emulsification of creams, lotions and other skin care products.

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Please use the form below to request additional information about ultrasonic homogenizer, applications in the cosmetic production, technical data, case studies and prices. We will be glad to discuss your blending process with you and to offer you a sonicator fulfilling your requirements!

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Development & Analysis in the Laboratory

Device UP50h
Hielscher ultrasonic laboratory devices are ideal for research and development as well as for routine processes. Devices like the handheld UP100H are suitable for manifold applications, e.g. mixing, dispersing, emulsifying, homogenizing, disintegrating or dissolving. The laboratory devices are easy to use, and have an unmatched efficiency and flexibility. All devices can be precisely controlled so that the reproducibility for the scale up to production scale is ensured.

Ultrasonics in the Manufacturing of Cosmetic and Personal Care Products

Ultrasonication can be scaled up easily. Laboratory tests will allow to select the required equipment size accurately. The table below shows general device recommendations depending on the batch volume or flow rate to be processed.

Design, Manufacturing and Consulting – Quality Made in Germany

Hielscher ultrasonicators are well-known for their highest quality and design standards. Robustness and easy operation allow the smooth integration of our ultrasonicators into industrial facilities. Rough conditions and demanding environments are easily handled by Hielscher ultrasonicators.

Hielscher Ultrasonics is an ISO certified company and put special emphasis on high-performance ultrasonicators featuring state-of-the-art technology and user-friendliness. Of course, Hielscher ultrasonicators are CE compliant and meet the requirements of UL, CSA and RoHs.

The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:

Batch VolumeFlow RateRecommended Devices
0.5 to 1.5mLn.a.VialTweeter
1 to 500mL10 to 200mL/minUP100H
10 to 2000mL20 to 400mL/minUP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 to 20L0.2 to 4L/minUIP2000hdT
10 to 100L2 to 10L/minUIP4000hdT
15 to 150L3 to 15L/minUIP6000hdT
n.a.10 to 100L/minUIP16000
n.a.largercluster of UIP16000

Inline Processing

Discrete Recirculation for UltrasonicationHielscher ultrasonic reactors are commonly used in-line. The material is pumped into the reactor vessel. There it is exposed to ultrasonic cavitation at a controlled intensity. The exposure time is a result of the reactor volume and the material feed rate. Inline sonication eliminates by-passing because all particles pass the reactor chamber following a defined path. As all particles are exposed to identical sonication parameters for the same time during each cycle, ultrasonication typically shifts the distribution curve rather than widening it. Generally, “right tailing” can not be observed at sonicated samples.

Process Cooling

For temperature-sensitive formulations, Hielscher offers jacketed flow cell reactors for all laboratory and industrial devices. By cooling the internal reactor walls, process heat can be dissipated effectively.

Robust and Easy to Clean

Ultrasonic Flow Cell Reactor made of stainless steel for the sonication of liquids.An ultrasonic reactor consist of the reactor vessel and the ultrasonic sonotrode. This is the only part, that is subject to wear and it can be easily replaced within minutes. Oscillation-decoupling flanges allow to mount the sonotrode into open or closed pressurizable containers or flow cells in any orientation. No bearings are needed. Flow cell reactors are generally made of stainless steel and have simple geometries and can easily be disassembled and wiped out. There are no small orifices or hidden corners. Special flow cell reactors meeting the advanced CIP (clean-in-place) and SIP (sterilize-in-place) requirements are available, too.

Ultrasonic Cleaner in Place

The ultrasonic intensity used for dispersing applications is much higher than for typical ultrasonic cleaning. Therefore the ultrasonic power can be used to assist cleaning during flushing and rinsing, as the ultrasonic cavitation removes particles and liquid residues from the sonotrode and from the flow cell walls.

Facts Worth Knowing

Ultrasonic tissue homogenizers are often referred to as probe sonicator/ sonificator, sonic lyser, ultrasound disruptor, ultrasonic grinder, sono-ruptor, sonifier, sonic dismembrator, cell disrupter, ultrasonic disperser, emulsifier or dissolver. The different terms result from the various applications that can be fulfilled by sonication.

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